Ask Aunt Flo…cycle charting concerns

RachadminAunt Flo Answers, Menstrual Health, Musings

Hi Aunt Flo

I am really interested in charting my cycle, but i’m a bit wary as a friend of mine was using it for natural birth control and became pregnant- twice! One time was while she was bleeding! (the first time she had an abortion, and the second time- quite soon after, she decided to keep the baby- and she was very welcome- although a bit of a surprise!)

I’d really like to come off the Pill and try something more natural but I am a bit scared, can you offer any advice?

Thanks, Denise, Exeter


Hi Denise

your question has brought up some interesting points.

Firstly – you can only consider cycle charting as a natural contraceptive if your cycle is regular (roughly every 28 days), if you have an irregular cycle, the first steps are getting it regular for quite a few months before using this method. (Alexandra Popes’ book Wild Genie has lots of info for healthy regular cycles)

The Billings Method book a clear guide for women whose cycles are regular or irregular, who are coming off the pill, breastfeeding or approaching menopause I’d recommend this book for women with irregular cycles.

If you are coming off the Pill (or any hormonal contraceptive) it can take a while for your cycle to normalise- so its recommended you chart your cycle for a few months while it regularises. In the meantime I would recommend using a barrier method (condom or similar) for contraceptive while you get the hang of charting your ovulation.

And once you have the hang of knowing when you’re ovulating, you still need to consider some sort of contraceptive! Or choose to abstain on those days.

As for your friend -well there are flaws in natural methods of contraception! You can ovulate when the Moon is in your Sun sign (so its always worth charting the moons cycles along side your own!) this is known as your natal moon- its something you can google!

And ….this is where I get a bit deep and spiritual!….. Its my belief that we have ‘soul agreements’ with other souls and one such agreement might be to bring them in to form!

I once had an amazing experience when I went with a friend for her abortion, while it was happening I sat and sent her reiki and loving energy and I became aware of a room filled with angels- there was no judgment of what she was doing, just pure love and my sense was that the ‘baby’ hadn’t incarnated yet (many religions believe the soul doesn’t incarnate (enter the physical form) til later in the pregnancy) and that this whole experience for my friend was all about a ‘lesson’ for her relationship rather than anything to do with the unborn child.

Anyway…back to your friend, it sounds like she had a soul ready to come through her, and because of her abortion, this soul decided to take any opportunity to come in- so although she was bleeding, that soul jumped in there and hung on!!

I would also like to point out that some women do bleed during pregnancy, which can confuse you if you are unaware you are pregnant and are trying to chart your cycle- so It could be that your friend was already pregnant and had a bleed and thought it was a period?

Well those are my thoughts on it all 🙂

Just to reassure you – I have been charting my cycle for contraception for 15 years, I do have a very regular cycle, and I have only become pregnant when I wanted to! Once! I do have 2 older children, my daughter is 22 and I become pregnant with her whilst on the Pill, and my son is 19 – it was after having him I began to explore natural fertility/contraception.

The Moon Times Cycle Charting book can be bought  here it comes with a set of beads as a visual aid to tracking your cycle and a moon chart so you can follow the moons cycle too!

Warm wishes, Aunt Flo xxx

© 2011 Rachael Hertogs, All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: Any health advice that I give is my opinion based on my general professional experience but not your specific case. As such, you should always seek the advice of your own health professionals.

Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or supplements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are therefore not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

You are advised to do your own due diligence when it comes to making decisions about and all information, products, services that have been provided should be independently verified by your own qualified professionals. By reading this guide, you agree that my company and myself are not responsible for your health or the health of your dependents.

‘Moon’ related web sites

RachadminMenstrual Health, Moon Lodge/Red Tent

websites for reconnecting with your body and your cycle- and for pleasure!

Moon Times Moon Lodge- Facebook Moon Lodge forum
A space to chat and share Moon Lodge stories

The Red Web Foundation is a member-run, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting a positive societal view of girls’ and women’s bodies and menstrual cycles from first menstruation (called menarche) through menopause. Members of The Red Web Foundation form a network of women committed to promoting menstrual health in their personal and professional lives. These “menstrual health advocates” offer a diverse range of products, workshops, and educational materials and include artists, mental health professionals, businesswomen, moms, students, teachers, and health care providers. The Foundation is committed to including a diversity of cultural views and experiences of the menstrual life-cycle. We honour individual and cultural practices of the present day and the past which promote a healthy outlook for women and society.

Crimson Wisdom invites you to reclaim your sacred heritage as woman who bleeds in time with the moon or as a wise woman who guides her community with strength and integrity. We invite you to rediscover menstrual community and reconnect with your embodied blood wisdom through circles, red tent gatherings and personalized ceremonies. The re-building of menstrual community is an essential journey in our work to transform the isolation, shame and secrecy that have surrounded women’s bodies. As we come together to share our stories, we discover the truths that empower us to become healthy, strong, and full wise women.

Brooke Medicine Eagle is a Native American metis – an Earth wisdom teacher and catalyst for wholeness, visionary, sacred ecologist, Feng Shui practitioner, harmonist and recording artist. Her beauty way awakens physical and spiritual health, offers Native American music and chants, promotes ritual honouring of Earth cycles, provides women’s mystery teachings, and creates a sustainable, holy path for two-leggeds to walk. Her dedication is to bringing forward the ancient truths concerning how to live a fully human life in harmony with All Our Relations as we approach the crossroads into a golden age. She is excited about the opportunity to put her teachings ‘on the ground’ as she helps develop her childhood home ranch, Sacred Ground, as a teaching model and a buffalo/horse ranch.

Faces of Woman Spirit website is designed to honour the Goddess and Her many guises. It is dedicated to Her Face as She reveals It through the Moon, the Planets, Worlds, Time, and of course yourself. The discovery of The Faces of Woman Spirit was obtained through the Shamanic Journey’s performed by Katherine Torres as she gave honour to the request of the Goddess to know Her. The journey’s were performed by travels to the Celtic Realm of Healing, the Isle of Avalon.

Alternative Approaches, Home Remedies, and Herbs for Women is a celebration of the feminine sacred gateway

Herbal Medicine and Spirit Healing the Wise Woman Way
500+ Pages of Alternative Health Resources for Women
Susun Weed, herbalist and author of women’s health books, invites you to rediscover the Wise Woman Tradition, herbal medicine healing, and how to make home remedies

Christiane Northrup, MD, obstetrician/gynaecologist, is internationally known for her visionary, empowering approach to women’s health and wellness. As a practicing physician for over 25 years, Dr. Northrup is a leading proponent of medicine and healing that acknowledges the unity of the mind and body, as well as the powerful role of the human spirit in creating health.
Her pioneering work has shown that conditions such as PMS, endometriosis, breast symptoms, and uterine conditions are the language through which women’s bodies speak of wounding they have experienced in a culture which has been unsupportive to women and to those values we call “womanly.” Her years of clinical experience have taught her that life-threatening, chronic, or acute illness is often a catalyst for significant inner growth and change. The lessons learned from the thousands of women with whom she has worked over the years have taught her that we needn’t wait for illness to make health-enhancing adjustments in our lives. Regardless of one’s starting point, vibrant improvements can occur on all levels of a woman’s life and health when she learns how to respect and care for herself.

The Goddess Conference, Glastonbury-with Ceremonies, Adorations and Praise Songs to the Goddess of Love, the Goddess as Lover, Lady of Sexuality and Sensuality, She who is Sovereignty, Queen of the Land. With talks, presentations, workshops, beautiful Womanspirit Exhibitions, performances, music, song, poetry, dance, healing, stalls. Participate in Circles of Thirteen, in Preparation Rituals and the Opening Ceremony. Help create and perform ceremonies on Chalice Hill in celebration of the many faces of the Goddess of Love. Listen to a wonderful Goddess Concert. Make Lammas Bread Yonis. Enter into the Mysteries of the Goddess of Love as Ecstatic Dancer, ancient Grandmother and loving Healer. Dance the night away at the Goddess Gala Buffet and Masque and join our Pilgrimage through the Landscape to Chalice Well and Glastonbury Tor with a Fruit Feast!

This site is dedicated to the power of one. Every individual is the product of many individual lives. Likewise, every individual touches many individual lives. There is multiplicity in singularity. This site celebrates the ways in which individual lives overlap and influence one another. Originally conceived as a showcase for one woman’s work, this site has become a showplace for the individual, and in many ways interrelated, passions of two women. Please explore our site, and as you do, think about the ways in which your life has impacted others and others have impacted you.

ponders on contraception…

RachadminBook Reviews, Menstrual Health, Musings

Having been reading the Selling of Contraception… (see article here ) It’s left me wondering how it came to be that women began to hand their health over to men?

After a herstory (history) of women healers using their intuition, along come men and science who then take the power (remember the ‘witch’ burning?) and start feeding us drugs and telling us they are natural?? (or so my doctor tried to tell me about The Pill!!  …. well read Alexandra Pope’s PILL book to find out how natural it is!)

The whole contraception idea came about when politicians (men) decided the population needed curbing- and what better way to sell contraception to women than by telling them it would EMPOWER them, give them CHOICES about when to have a family, FREE them from the terrible emotional roller coater ride of their natural CYCLE!! And we fell for it!

When really there is no need for contraception- our natural CYCLE tells us very clearly when we are ovulating- and if we want to avoid pregnancy (or indeed get pregnant) we need to take THE TIME to LISTEN to our body!

I recently saw on TV that Boots have an inventor who has made a sensor that monitors a womans temperature to tell her when she is fertile- of course a thermometer can do thats just as easily! and its less expensive!

I really wish more women would take the time to use their NATURAL WOMENS WISDOM which is freely given to them, in built in their body to support them through life!

If you would like to learn about charting your cycle naturally see these books:



© 2011 Rachael Hertogs, All Rights Reserved



I love this message….a bit of gratitude goes a long way!

If you woke up this morning

with more health than illness,

you are more blessed than the

million who won’t survive the week.

If you have never experienced

the danger of battle,

the loneliness of imprisonment,

the agony of torture or

the pangs of starvation,

you are ahead of 20 million people around the world.

If you attend a church meeting

without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death,

you are more blessed than almost

three billion people in the world.

If you have food in your refrigerator,

clothes on your back,

a roof over your head and a place to sleep,

you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank,

in your wallet, and spare change

in a dish someplace,

you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

If your parents are still married and alive,

you are very rare,

If you hold up your head

with a smile on your face and are truly thankful,

you are blessed because the majority can,

but most do not.

If you can hold someone’s hand,

hug them or even touch them on the shoulder you are blessed

because you can offer God’s healing touch.

If you can read this message,

you are more blessed

than over two billion people in the world

that cannot read anything at all.

You are so blessed in ways you may never even know.

If you are a recipient of a blessing, keep the blessing working by being the source of blessing to other people.

[guest blog] Cycle Of Power

RachadminGuest Writings, Menstrual Health, Musings

I was amazed to get this from
the author wasnt credited though!

Cycle Of Power
Honoring Menstruation
In the ancient past, as humanity began to move toward a patriarchal society, women were gradually deprived of the awareness of a wonderful gift. Previously, menstruation was considered a miraculous and cosmic event wherein women were strongly connected to all things spiritual. A menstruating woman was considered to be at the height of her power and was encouraged to spend time looking inward for feminine wisdom. Her menses held mana or the ‘breath of life’ and were a source of nourishment for the fertile soil. But as the goddesses were cast aside, women’s relationship with the lunar cycles and the tides was cast aside. Menstruating women were forced to remain apart lest they infect others with their uncleanliness and their wisdom was suppressed. Contradicting today’s attitudes of shame, however, is a strong movement seeking to reclaim the power of menstruation and to see it as a supreme blessing rather than a curse.

For many women, menstruation is a time of altered awareness, creativity, spirituality, and new heights of intuition. The need for solitude or rest is unjustly perceived as a weakness, when in reality it indicates a strong urge for introspection during the menstrual cycle. Perception and sensitivity are both amplified, encouraging women to challenge themselves and others. The Native American tradition states that a menstruating woman has the potential to be more spiritually powerful than any male or female at any time. Some may experience these changes during different spans of the cycle. It is not uncommon to experience a stillness and desire for quiet during the first part of the menses and extreme clarity during the latter part. In ignoring or denying such feelings, men and women alike lose touch with feminine power and the awareness of the value of menstruation.

It may be helpful to understand that menstruation is a natural time within the moon cycle to retreat from worldly concerns and to embrace transformation. Women may enter into the cycle in one way and find they emerge renewed on the other side. Harnessing the power inherent means listening to intuition, noticing unique synchronicities, and understanding the core of oneself. It is a gift from the body to the earth and from the body to the mind.

books- The Selling of Contraception & The Pill

RachadminBook Reviews

I’ve been re- reading The Selling Of Contraception by Nicole Grant.
In all honesty this book has again totally shocked me with information about contraceptives I knew nothing about!
It’s an incredibly informative book- if you have ever wanted to know more about the side effects of contaceptives (particulaly IUDs) then ths book is for you. I think what i found most surprising is the amount of suppression from doctors about the dangers…and doing further research finding out many that are banned in the US are available in the UK- the hormone IUS for example!
see for pictures and info on the Dalkon IUD.

The Selling of Contraception
The Dalkon Shield Case, Sexuality, and Women’s Autonomy
Nicole J. Grant

“Nicole Grant does a good job of explaining how, during the second half of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth, the state and medical experts usurped the management of female fertility, and then transformed ‘birth control’ into a lucrative business and a remunerative political proposition. She reviews the sordid details of the development and marketing of the Dalkon Shield and goes on to provide a new dimension to the work that has been done on this issue. . . . Grant’s portrayal of the discussions of the IUD within and beyond the medical community is a tour de force.” —Women’s Review of Books

“Impressively researched: a worthy addition to the study of women’s need for increased control of their own lives” —Kirkus Reviews

“Grant makes a strong case for the right of women at all class levels to be able to choose freely, and on an informed basis, their reproductive options. She argues that the lack of scientific data on the Dalkon Shield, at first, and then corporate greed in withholding all negative reports and fighting them when they finally began to appear subverted that freedom. The Selling of Contraception contains a fine blend of material from the legal perspective and some excellent interview material with women users, injured and uninjured by this device” —Simon Dinitz, The Ohio State University

In this brutal indictment of the birth control industry, Nicole J. Grant documents the history of the Dalkon Shield case and places the controversy within a larger historical and social context, examining the ways in which social conditions affect women’s choices about contraception.

Drawing upon an analysis of thirty years’ worth of articles in medical journals and popular magazines, family planning literature, medical texts, government documents, and transcripts from interviews with women discussing procreative choices, Grant examines the IUD’s place in the history of contraception and the politics of bringing the Dalkon Shield to the market, including the commercial bias of the device’s inventor and chief medical consultant. She discusses the dissemination of false and misleading advertising about the device, the manufacturer’s disregard of evidence suggesting that it was unsafe, and the stake of various family planning agencies in promoting its use. She goes on to examine the social conditions under which women chose to use the Dalkon Shield and considers the fact that many women, wishing to exercise control over procreation, freely selected it over alternative forms of contraception, even though they knew there were association risks.

According to Grant, the Dalkon Shield case is not a historical anomaly. Today, advances in technology are making new methods of contraception available to women, but these methods carry risks as serious as those associated with the Dalkon Shield. Moreover, the social context in which women are making decisions about contraception is much the same as it was during the time when the Dalkon Shield was widely used. Grant concludes her study by proposing ways in which women can enhance their informed risk/benefit analysis of all options while maintaining their autonomy.

Nicole J. Grant is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Ball State University. She is the author of several articles on sexuality and birth control.

another book worth a read is The Pill – are you sure its for you? by Jane Bennett and Alexandra Pope
Again I was really shocked reading this book and relieved I have never had any length of time on The Pill- totally recommended to any young women thinking of taking it.

This book explores the physical and psychological repercussions of taking the pill – from side effects, like weight gain and depression to cancer, to effective alternative methods of contraception.


While the Pill is taken by most women and girls at some stage in their lives, few realise it is not without side-effects. Clear links have been made to depression, nausea, headaches and migraines, as well as a loss of libido. (my emphasis- Rachael)
Contrary to what most of us believe, it is not a failsafe contraception. Around 2 in 10 women do conceive while taking the Pill. Others experience difficulties conceiving after coming off this drug. There are also nutritional concerns, which can affect the health of subsequent children long after you have stopped taking it.

So what is the Pill, how does it work and what does it do to your body? If not the Pill, then how else can you control your fertility in casual or long-term relationships? Are hormonal implants and injections any better? If you’re about to come off the Pill, what are the best ways to reclaim your health and wellbeing? And what can you look forward to when your body returns to its natural rhythm?

Accessible, informed, inspired, The Pill. Are you sure it’s for you? provides you with a wealth of case studies and information that will help you make the choice you want for your body.

Menstrual Activism

RachadminGuest Writings, Menstrual Health, Musings

How do we change attitudes towards Menstruation and ‘Sanitary Products’?

Even if you dont fancy cloth pads- switch to organic Natracare ones- and if your local store does not supply them, demand that they do! (Chlorine-free disposables without applicators are available at most health food stores. These products shouldn’t contain deodorants, perfumes and known irritants which interfere with the natural chemistry of a woman’s body and which we do not need.)

Women are 80% of this country’s consumers (- and 100% of menstrual product consumers!)…so use your consumer clout and demand safer, chemical free products! (products that are safe for the cotton workers as well as the product buyer!)

Tell the major producers how you feel. Use the 1-800 number on the box of your product, or visit the Tampax web site
Demand chlorine-free products.

Request reduced packaging of all  products- not just menstrual products!

Write letters to your government or MP asking for stricter control over menstrual products. Currently, they fall into a loophole where there is little regulation. Any company can put out their product without proper testing.

Tell your friends what you know and how you feel. Menstruation is an amazing part of some woman’s life. Don’t hide it. Talk about it.

A better alternative is to buy your own set of five to ten washable pads. They are easy to use, cute to look at, and comfortable. Just use them, soak them in cold water, and cold water wash them with your regular laundry.

Moon Times moves


So we are still building our temporary premises in Pembrokeshire!! The wind and rain have made things a bit of a struggle but we hope that today it will be all ready to move in!
Life feels so much more ‘spacious’ here…. pace is slower, there is more time to ponder, wander and just ‘be’.

I’m relieved we’ll be all settled in by the time my Moon arrives this month 🙂